The Department for Transport has announced its intention to make a Direct Award to CrossCountry, following the expiry of its current three-year contract on October 15.
A prior information notice was issued on December 23 2022, informing the train operator (owned by Arriva UK) that the franchise extension would run for four years with the possibility of increasing it to eight.
The document states that, subject to a value for money review, it is “envisaged the services will be substantially similar to those currently operated”.
These inter-regional routes include Plymouth-Edinburgh via Leeds, Reading-Newcastle via Doncaster, Bristol and Bournemouth-Manchester, Nottingham-Cardiff, and Birmingham-Stansted Airport.
Nothing is said about rolling stock, although the release of 18 Class 221 Voyagers by Avanti West Coast this year will raise hopes that some existing services can be reinforced.
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